Webb On Anchoring Ban: "It needs to be based off facts and not...what certain people think the tradition of the game looks like."
A few of the highlights from Webb Simpson's press conference today at the World Challenge. He was a good sport about all of the anchoring ban questions. His attitude is pretty impressive in this sense:
Q. Do you think, assuming there is going to be a ban on anchoring you would switch to next year, even though it wouldn't go into effect until '16?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, I would switch as soon as I felt ready, so the way the process has looked like already for me is playing rounds at Quail Hollow with my buddies, and then it's going to be playing proams. I'm just going to take it one step at a time until my comfort level gets better and better. If I feel ready by Hyundai, I'll be putting with a short putter, and if I don't feel ready for two years, I'll wait. I'm just going to go when I feel most comfortable.
Q. You've talked about the driver head and some other things being more negative in terms of impact on the game. Have you expressed those views to anybody with the governing bodies, and if so, what kind of reaction did you get?
WEBB SIMPSON: You know, it's a tricky situation for me because I know a lot of those guys well. I know Mike very well, I know Jeff Hall very well, I know a lot of those guys, they're friends of mine. And I think they've been great. They've known that, hey, you're my friend, you'll be my friend no matter what, we'll continue the relationship, but it's okay to disagree.
It's an issue where you're going to have a lot of TOUR players over here and a lot over here. But yeah, my argument the whole time is to change something that drastic, it needs to be based off facts and not so called what certain people think the tradition of the game looks like. So that's why I've thrown out that nobody in the top 20 last year in strokes gained was using a belly putter or long putter. This year I believe one person, I believe it's Carl Pettersson.
So that's the number one fact I've looked at to see, okay, is it really helping certain guys. You look at how many guys are using a belly putter, long putter, and then you've got to look at other stuff. You've got to look at the driver. Long putter is nothing new. I saw a highlight the other day, some guy in the early '80s was using a long putter. I think it's becoming more popular obviously, but yeah, in 1985 if you drive it 280 you'd be the longest guy on TOUR; now if you drive it 280 you'd be the shortest guy on TOUR. I think there's a lot of other things: Golf ball, hybrids, there's a lot of other things that have caused bigger impacts on the game than a belly putter. That's my stance on it.
But look, I'm not going to be one of those guys that says this is a terrible decision. I'm just saying to make a change this big, show me the facts, and hey, they're the governing body, so we'll see what happens.
We'll find out tomorrow!